Seattle City Council

File Photo: Kathleen O'Toole speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, May 19, 2014.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle city leaders say the Seattle Police Department has an overtime problem. In 2015 the department blew past its overtime budget by $9 million (over the budgeted $15 million).

A city audit in April directed SPD to fix the problem. This week, Seattle City Council members said they plan to hold the department accountable, too.

Kristy Nguyen is a hairdresser in Belltown. She rents an apartment set aside for low-income earners. It's how she can stay in the city.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The city wants residential developers to help build affordable housing. It’s going to ask them to set aside some of their apartments for low income earners.

It’s part of the larger effort to build 20,000 affordable apartments. 

Pioneer Square apartment listed at $130/night on Airbnb.
Courtesy of Airbnb

People that run Airbnb-style rentals in Seattle say proposed city rules are too narrow. Opponents of the rule shared their concerns at a City Council committee meeting Wednesday.

For a meeting in which the council was discussing, not voting, on the changes, Councilmember Tim Burgess noted that a lot of citizens showed up. More than 30 signed up to speak.


An artist's rendering of the proposed new North Precinct station for the Seattle Police Department.
City of Seattle

An expensive bunker for police. That’s the view of nearly a dozen people who criticized plans for Seattle’s new North Precinct building at a Seattle City Council meeting on Wednesday.

The proposed $160 million building includes a public plaza and space for community meetings, along with a gym, firing range and parking garage.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Bill Radke speaks with Josh Feit about a heated text message exchange between Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw concerning the city's response to the homeless encampment known as the Jungle. Feit is the political editor for Seattle Met magazine and writes the local politics blog, Publicola. 

Sally Bagshaw's condo burdened the city councilmember when she wanted to work on legislation affecting waterfront property values. New rules would let her and others work on laws for their districts, despite owning property there.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Seattle City Council has paused its plans to loosen its ethics laws. Under current law, council members can’t vote on legislation that could benefit them financially. A proposed new law would loosen that restriction, as long as they were open about conflicts of interest. 


The International Children's Park was built in 1981. It features a dragon sculpture by Gerard Tsutakawa.
Flickr Photo/Gexydaf (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dYcjwA

The Seattle City Council is expected to vote Monday to rename a park in honor of the late Donnie Chin, Chinatown-International District’s beloved community activist and go-to guy.

The playground on 700 South Lane Street will be renamed the Donnie Chin International Children’s Park.

Pioneer Square apartment listed at $130/night on Airbnb.
Courtesy of Airbnb

Bill Radke hosts a discussion between Rebecca Saldana, executive director of Puget Sound Sage, and Michelle Acquavella, owner of Sea to Sky Rentals,  about proposed legislation before the Seattle City Council that would tighten the regulations around short term rental websites like Airbnb or VRBO.

The Seattle City Council has passed a resolution refining the mayor’s plan to sweep the Jungle in the wake of criticism. The council’s new resolution is designed to provide jungle residents with some protection from eviction. It follows a week where the council and mayor sometimes seemed at odds over the best approach.

A new Seattle City Council plan would give thousands more people a discount on utilities. Two bills to do that were advanced at the committee level on Tuesday.

Currently, people who live in federally subsidized housing are excluded from Seattle's Utility Discount Program (UDP). The legislation would change that and automatically enroll them for discounts.

Homeless advocates gather outside Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's office.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Some homeless people and supporters are pushing back against plans to close the encampment under Interstate 5 known as the Jungle. They interrupted a Seattle City Council meeting this week and say they plan to keep fighting. 


Light rail runs on the surface in Seattle's Rainier Valley.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Seattle City Council wants two more light rail stations added to Sound Transit 3, the expansion plan that will be on the November ballot.

Monday, the City Council unanimously passed a wish list for what they want added to ST3. It includes light rail stops at South Graham St. in south Seattle and Northeast 130th St. in north Seattle's Olympic Hills.

Kshama Sawant
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Kim Malcolm speaks with Xochitl Maykovich, an organizer with the Washington Community Action Network, about a Seattle City Council proposal that would make it illegal for landlords to raise rents in buildings that don't meet basic maintenance standards.  

Malcolm also speaks with Roger Valdez, executive director of Smart Growth Seattle.

Jim Loter documented building a backyard cottage in Seattle. Here's a picture from day 25: erecting the walls.
Flickr Photo/Jim L (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/s/aHsju5PWuH

You won't find many backyard cottages or mother-in-law units in Seattle. City officials say about 220 have been built since city officials started allowing them in 2009.

City Councilmember Mike O'Brien wants to change that to meet the growing demand for housing.

Tents lined up in the Jungle, which extends north and south under Seattle's Interstate 5 corridor.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Almost nobody provides outreach and services in the Jungle, the homeless encampment under Interstate 5. Most city-funded outreach workers won't go there because of safety concerns. 

But that's about to change. The city of Seattle is planning what they're calling an intense period of outreach in the Jungle. 

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